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Code of Conduct for Library Users

Welcome to the University of Maryland Libraries. The Libraries are committed to providing quality service through its staff, resources and facilities. This Code of Conduct Policy is for the benefit of all users of the Libraries and is applicable to all. Users' rights and responsibilities will ensure that the Libraries and users work together to safeguard the quality of service.

Users of the Libraries are entitled to have:

  • A library free of disruptive activity
  • Clean surroundings, regardless of whether a particular library permits food and drink
  • Access to library materials or an ability to recall them as regulations allow
  • Journals, books, documents and newspapers that are complete and unmarked
  • Access to computer terminals for the purpose of performing research

Ensuring a pleasant and productive environment for study and research for all users requires that each user of the Libraries follow the University of Maryland Libraries Code of Conduct Policy. Users of the Libraries have a responsibility to refrain from:

1. Creating any disturbance or exhibiting any behavior that interferes with normal use of the libraries, including: rowdiness, noise, sleeping, use of cellular telephones, and wearing or riding roller blades or skateboards. Audible rings for mobile phones and pagers should be turned off while owners are in the Libraries. The phones and pagers can be used in vestibules or lobbies of library buildings.

2. Consuming food or beverages in public areas of selected libraries, including study carrels. Water in closed, clear plastic bottles is permitted except around copiers, computers, equipment, and special collections. Please see below for details related to the McKeldin Library and Engineering and Physical Sciences Library (EPSL).

3. Smoking or use of any tobacco products in the Libraries.

4. Removing or attempting to remove library materials or property without checking them out or without authorization.

5. Failing to return materials following the expiration of the loan period and/or on request for return of materials by the Libraries.

6. Failing to pay the Libraries the value of lost or damaged materials.

7. Concealing library materials in the Libraries for the exclusive use of an individual or group.

8. Mutilating library materials by marking, underlining, removing pages or portions of pages, removing binding, removing electronic theft detection devices or barcodes, or in any other way defacing library materials.

9. Altering computer setting, software or peripherals. Please see the University's Guidelines for the Acceptable Use of Computing Resources for further information, at

10. Harassing library staff or patrons.

11. Being in an unauthorized area of the Libraries, remaining in the Libraries after closing or when requested to leave during emergency situations or drills.

12. Bringing pets into the Libraries except helper animals.

Food and Drink in Engineering and Physical Sciences Library (EPSL) and McKeldin Library

Library users may bring food and drinks into EPSL and McKeldin. Library users who bring in food and drink are asked to be careful and respectful of others and to put all trash in proper receptacles promptly. For environmentally friendly practice and preventing spills, library users are encouraged to bring drinks in reusable and spill-proof containers.

If there are spills, users should clean up their own spills by getting paper towels from a nearby restroom and clean up the area themselves. Otherwise, they should report the spill to the nearest service desk and staff there can inform Library Facilities or Work Control. Members of the same class may gather to work on a joint project and may eat or drink if they choose while they are in EPSL or McKeldin. However, they must, as all other users, be mindful of noise and must clean up before they leave the area.

Users should prevent food or drink from coming into direct contact with library collections and equipment. Cleanup can be costly, and damage may be irreversible. If this occurs, please inform library staff so that they can attempt to clean the books and/or equipment.

Restrictions are the following:

1. Planned group or organizational meetings (e.g. clubs or sororities) may not host group meals in either library. Cafe (McKeldin) and vending (EPSL) areas outside the library gates can be used for that purpose.

2. No alcoholic beverages are allowed.

3. Food may not be prepared on library premises by bringing in appliances for cooking, heating, popping corn and the like.

4. Vendors or others may not use EPSL or McKeldin to distribute free food or drinks, to reward library users for taking surveys or participating in similar activities.

5. Library users may request food deliveries outside each library's security gates. Food deliveries are not permitted inside. Library staff will not attempt to locate users for delivery people.

These rules are put in place to help give library users comfortable and productive space. Users need to partner with library staff to assure that EPSL and McKeldin remain clean and well maintained for everyone who uses and works in them.

Users need to remember and abide by the no-food-no-drink policies continuing in place in Art, Architecture, Chemistry, Hornbake and Performing Arts Libraries. Information on the food and drink policy at the Universities at Shady Grove Library are at


Effective March 1, 2010
Supersedes "Food, Drink and Smoking Policy," (May 1, 1991)
Suggested revisions to any Administrative Memo should be addressed to the Director for Administrative Services.